It appears that Operation Homeless has returned to the Eau Claire area. Operation Homeless is nationwide check fraud ring involving hundreds of individuals. The basic operation is:
- Outgoing mail is stolen from local businesses.
- Account numbers are taken from legitimate checks and used for the creation of counterfeit checks.
- Homeless men/women recruited by the check-makers are sent in to the financial named on the original check. Those individuals present counterfeit checks to cash.
- The check cashers use their own ID’s and usually have a rehearsed story on why they are cashing the check.
- Multiple individuals will present checks on the same day.
- Check-makers are usually waiting nearby but out of range of surveillance cameras.
Financials should be cautious of non-customers presenting checks to cash, especially if arriving on foot or being dropped off some distance away. Please verify such checks with your customers before approving the transaction!
If you suspect an individual is attempting to cash a counterfeit check, notify your local law enforcement agency immediately.
Detective Kevin Farley
Financial Crimes Unit
Eau Claire Police Department